NHS Charities Together will be hosting a live-broadcasted remembrance event on 11th March 2022, the second anniversary of when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic, to reflect upon the incredible sacrifices of health and care workers. It will include a nationwide minute’s silence at 11am, which the charity is inviting all health and social care colleagues to take part in online.
Acknowledging the sacrifices made over the last two years, the live-broadcasted service and one-minute silence at 11am will offer the opportunity for all healthcare staff, as well as the general public, to reflect personally on the impact and losses of the pandemic and to say thank you.
It will be attended by staff representing the nations and all areas of healthcare – including ambulance, hospital, mental health, community, social care and primary care services. Senior representatives from the NHS and social care will also join the event, including Chief Nursing Officer for England Ruth May and Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care for England Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE. Former NHS Chief Executive Lord Nigel Crisp KCB will introduce the live broadcast in his role as patron of NHS Charities Together.
During the event staff will share readings written by health and care workers as well as personal testimonies and will be joined by patient representatives to lay blue heart wreaths as a symbol of gratitude and remembrance. There will also be a performance from Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital Choir.
The event will be hosted by NHS Charities Together, an independent national charity that has had a significant role in supporting NHS staff over the last two years, distributing donations from its Covid-19 Urgent Appeal to every NHS Trust and Health Board in the UK via the network of 238 NHS charities.
The live broadcast can be accessed online, with the invite-only event held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire – the nation’s year-round place to remember, which is a space to commemorate those who have given their lives in service.
Lord Nigel Crisp KCB, Patron for NHS Charities Together, said:
“Over the last two years health and social care workers have put duty and commitment to care for patients above their own needs, and we are so grateful. We mustn’t forget what it has taken for them to get us through this period – including those who tragically lost their own lives while caring for others. This event is a chance for us all to honour those sacrifices, to say thank you for everything they did and continue to do – and say that we won’t ever forget.”
Since the pandemic began, many NHS staff have tragically lost their lives to the virus, with a new You Gov survey of over 1,000 NHS staff showing almost one in four (24%) have directly lost colleagues because of Covid-19 – including those who they have worked closely with.
Ongoing pressures on the service are adding to this strain, with more than two-thirds reporting a mental health condition as a result of the pandemic and many experiencing depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Ruth May, NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer, said:
“The last two years have been like no other and while this pandemic has taken a huge toll on the country as a whole, as I look back, I am eternally grateful and proud of our health and social care workforce – what they have achieved and what they have been through, and continue to go through to care for everyone who needs it.
“I have seen them step up valiantly to the task that has faced them, supporting each other and with care for their patients remaining at the heart of what they do. That is why it is so important that we get together and reflect on the impact COVID-19 has had on everyone.”
To find out more about the live broadcast of the remembrance event on 11th March and join in with a one-minute silence at 11am, please visit: nhscharitiestogether.co.uk.